This year marks the 16th anniversary of the 2019 Business Woman of the Year awards; celebrating some of the most dynamic business women in Tampa Bay. We are thrilled to announce that Debi Wolfe, Senior Vice President of People, Culture & Strategy at Hays has been named a Business Woman of the Year honoree. Debi is recognized for being an influential business woman who has blazed the trail for others to follow. After 20 years of leadership experience in the staffing industry, Debi shares her career advice, the value of mentors, and her favorite reads at the moment.
What tips do you have for anyone building a successful career?
1. View your career as a mission, not a job
It’s important to realize that you have a unique role to play in this world so make sure to honor that responsibility by leveraging your strengths, values and talents for the greater good. Also, keep a clear purpose with a plan in mind and ensure you are always working with integrity and passion towards your goal.
2. Build a network
In order to do anything great it takes a team of people. Make sure you have coaches, advisors and peers to help guide you and provide encouragement along the way. In this fast paced overscheduled world sometimes relationships can be deprioritized, so you will want to make time to nurture your network and support your employees. Also, remember to balance results and relationships because you need both equally. Results will help build your resume and your network will help you find opportunity.
3. Take full ownership and accountability for your role and assigned projects
Find ways to complete tasks effectively and on time, even if the odds are against you. Always be fully prepared, focus on the right priorities, and work with a committed drive to deliver results. Be the person that people can count on and trust to accomplish goals with excellence.
4. Go for progress not perfection
The pursuit for perfection is ongoing and holding yourself or others to a level of perfection is unrealistic. Keep moving forward and realize that failure is a part of life’s journey – it is how you respond to failure that differentiates you. John Maxwell once said, “If you fall, pick something up while you are down there”. Failure can be life’s best teacher, receive it as such and be grateful for personal growth. It will keep you humble and help you extend grace to others more easily. You gain the most experience from your mistakes, so don’t let trying to be perfect hold you back. Be bold and take risks; stretch out of your comfort zone daily.
5. Make continuous learning a priority
Continuous learning is imperative. Study, research, speak with experts or take a class that interest you. Do what it takes to master your role, understand your industry and have awareness of trends. This will allow you to become a valued resource to your leader and team. Business is about solving problems to seize opportunities, so focus on bringing solutions with actionable ideas to the table that will help your organization move forward.
Did you have mentors in your career journey? If so, tell us about the impact that mentors played for your growth.
There is a saying, “the teacher will appear when the student is ready” and I think the same can be said about mentors. I have had several mentors throughout my career journey and each has served a unique role. My teacher mentor helped me learn valuable technical skills and when I made the jump to start my own company, I had the support of a coach mentor. My friends were also my mentors and showed me support and encouragement throughout difficult times. Additionally, I had my spiritual mentors who inspired me to be a better human. These varied perspectives, experiences and viewpoints have been incredibly valuable. I am extremely grateful for those that have invested in me and I try to pay it forward.
What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith, this book provides an interesting perspective on employee engagement and coaching. Currently, I have my leadership team reading No Ego by Cy Wakeman. This book provides a reality based perspective on accountability and leadership. After reading a few chapters, we discuss the principals, decide if we agree with them or not, and determine if there is anything we can implement.